© 2019 by CoralMatters.com

Individual action is needed and possible from everybody, not only those who live close to the reefs

 

Around the world, many people are already looking for ways to protect coral reefs.  For example, Coral Guardian , a non-profit organization based in France, works to coordinate and support cultivation of corals.  They work with local people who live near coral reefs, including fishermen, to help plant cultivated corals.  They seek funding from supportive people around the world to help pay wages for those doing the work on the reefs.  Another group, People for Ocean (P4O, Australia), works in two primary ways to support coral reefs.  First - they grow corals.  Second- they develop and market non-toxic sunscreen products, that do not contain ingredients that are harmful to corals.

 

No matter where we live we can join groups working for energy efficiency or groups working to develop clean energy to help stop the harmful effects of excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the air.  We can also work with groups that work to reduce the use of plastics that can get into the ocean and drift around the world.  You can start, or take a next step, by finding and learning about a group in your city or town. Introduce yourself and express your interest.

 

 

  • We can all take steps to use energy more efficiently and to encourage other people to join us. 

    • If you don't live near a reef, you can find a group working for energy efficiency, such as ClimateXChange or Women Working for Oceans (W2O) in the United States, or support new energy systems in your local city or town.  

    • Wherever we work, we can encourage our building managers to install the most energy efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems. 

    • We can ask our elected leaders to make policies that require new buildings and appliances to be more energy efficient.  We can ask real estate agents to share information about energy use of buildings they are renting or selling, so buyers can choose the most energy efficient options.

    • We can replace old fossil fuel energy systems that depended coal, oil and gas, with new, clean energy systems that can use solar or wind or tidal power. 

    • If you live near a reef area, you can help to protect reefs from pollution that runs off the land by working with your neighbors.  You can encourage very gentle use of the reef such as avoiding stepping on corals, and keeping boat anchors and fishing nets away from reefs.  Work with groups to protect reefs from fishing by supporting protected areas where no fishing and dumping is allowed, and no animals can be removed from the reef.

 

Megan Donahue, researcher at HIMB. "Our data indicate that both local management efforts such as reducing nutrient run-off and seepage into groundwater, and global actions, such as reducing global carbon dioxide emissions, are required to protect reefs from rapidly declining."

 

  • Many individuals & organizations from around the world are already working hard to protect coral reefs.

    • The government in Belize has taken steps to protect its reefs from damaging activities.  They have stopped all oil exploration in the entire maritime zone of Belize and they have taken steps to protect mangrove forests along their coastline.  Local governments, state, or national governments can take similar steps and citizens can encourage such protection.

    • Women Working for Oceans (W2O), based in Massachusetts, in the U.S.A., is helping local people to get involved to safeguard marine protected areas and also to understand ways to protect endangered right whales and to prevent plastics getting into the ocean.

    • Many organizations apply for grants each year to support coral reef health through research and conservation efforts.  The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes some of those grants.

    • Force Blue is a group that trains elite combat veterans who have participated in SCUBA diving missions, to participate in coral reef restoration. (or http://www.noaa.gov/stories/operation-coral-rescue-is-under-way)

 

 

 

  • In 2018, several places around the world, like Hawaii, have decided to ban sunscreens that can harm coral reefs. France could be inspired by Hawaii and soon ban some sunscreens as well

Interview

 

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